1. What is the attraction of doing research?
Research, when you first face it, has no attraction! On the contrary, it shows you how hard and demanding the quest for knowledge can be. But it also tells you that your curiosity and individual capacities and interests are an asset. It will also make you wiser and more humble with every step. Hopefully, at the end of the day, you will have contributed to the world with knowledge.
2. Why choose SSE if you want to become a researcher?
In my PhD thesis I focused on the relation between trade, growth and labor markets. One key prediction was that “too strong” property rights could be detrimental to growth. But also that the expansion of Swedish multinationals has a negative impact on non-routine and interactive tasks in Sweden. After my PhD, however, I wanted to use my “toolkit” outside the academic world and have been working in forecasting, macroeconomic analysis and tax policy for seven years. SSE alumni are held in very high regard even outside academia due to its tight connections to finance, policymakers and the industry. It is extremely rewarding to use the knowledge your PhD has given you to tackle the most diverse challenges of modern public policymaking.
3. What is the best thing about SSE if you are a PhD student?
The course-work is very well-organized and streamlined and at the same time broad. SSE's network and collaborations with other universities, allow students to access to a vast palette of options. Almost all students in my cohort spent at least one semester abroad at top universities. Seminars and workshops are well-catered for both curious young researchers and policymakers alike. Expect at least one or two seminars every year held by Nobel laureates that usually devote office hours to discuss PhD students’ research projects.
4. What characterizes the PhD education at SSE?
SSE is a relatively small university, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in academic brilliancy of its faculty and a second-to-none international network of researchers. The Swedish kind of way is down-to-earth and horizontal, which encourages the exchange of ideas and interpersonal communication. I still pick up the phone from time to time to ask former professors for advice.